RHIIP Listserv Posting #401 -- New Policy: Interim Final Rule on Streamlining Administrative Regulations and Implementing Family Income Reviews Under the FAST Act

On December 12, 2017, HUD published an interim final rule in the Federal Register that amends the regulatory language for PIH and Multifamily Housing rental assistance programs.

This rule aligns the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. In addition, the interim final rule extends two of the administrative streamlining changes that were adopted in 2016 for the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs to Multifamily programs.

The interim final rule implements FAST Act provisions that allow public housing agencies (PHAs) and multifamily housing owners to conduct full income recertification for families with 90 percent or more of their income from fixed-income every three years instead of annually. This interim final rule also aligns the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in the FAST Act by modifying the earlier streamlining regulations. This would make the procedures for families meeting the fixed-income threshold as similar as possible to families who do not have 90 percent or more of their income from fixed sources but still have some fixed income.

In addition to streamlining fixed income stipulations, the interim final rule also indicates that an owner may:
  • Make utility reimbursements of $45 or less per quarter ($15 a month) on a quarterly basis.
  • Accept family declaration of assets under $5,000.  Third-party verification of all family assets will be required every 3 years.
Although HUD is issuing these changes as an interim final rule, the Department has delayed the effective date for a period of 90 days (March 12, 2018).  This allows participants in Multifamily housing programs and other interested parties to submit comments during the first 30-day period following publication of the interim rule. HUD will take any comments received by January 11, 2018, into consideration and determine whether any further changes should be made before publication of a final rule. Directions on the submission of comments may be found in the Federal Register.

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